Friday, 28 August 2015

28th August 1815: Thomas Holden's parents write to him from Bolton

Bolton y/e 28th 1815

Dear Thomas we jointly take this oppertunity of send\ing/ you a few lines to inform you that we are all well at this time hope you are the same -- Likewise yours of the 14 of sept 1814 Came safe to hand makeing the Fifth from you and this will make the same number that we have sent you to N.S.Wales If you have had the Fortune to receive them we hope that it will give you some Consolation for you appear to say or Think in your letters that we have all forgotten you, Dear Thomas as it is not posible that we Ever shall while god [sp]ares Our life and we do assure you that it allways gives us pleasure to hear from you at all times and under all Circumstances, that may happen to you, was it in our power to bring you back your stay from us would be Very short in your Present time of life but we fear that you will have to stay the period of time you was sent for, thoug we have made all the intrest in your favour in our power, hope if you have to stay as above that you will make yourself as Content as your situation will admit of looking forward to the time if god spare that you will have to return to us all again ----------- we have heard that all Transports have had one year taken off

Dear Thomas we have to inform you that Thos [illeg] is Return'd home again and at the same time we wish to acquaint you that we are inform'd that the parson you have with hath it in his power to do some thing towards getting you a passage and your liberty now if Mr Alen Esq would condecend in this Ou[   ]quest it would Leave a lasting Testimoney our love and Esteem that nevere Cou'd be Ereased from our minds and we wish you to Speak to your master on this subject, Dear Thos your
wife hath pettioned Three times Over to Come to you but the secretary of state gave for answer that your [Term] wass so short that nothing Could be done for her, we [    ] you will Excuse this our short hand and believ[ ] [   ] to be untill death

your Father Mother and Wife
John Elen and Mary Holden

PS we have to say that we are all together the sam[  ] [   ] when you life and intend [ ] ] Remain so untill your Return your daughter ann is a Very fine Child and often speakes about her dad Brother Will Remember his love to you as doth Mary sister and Father and Mother together with uncles and aunts & Please to Write on all Oppertunitys and not fail and we will do the same

your grandmother and your uncle R[   ] dead [R    ] intered the first [ ]unday this year

[To] Thomas Holden
at Commissary Allens Esq
sidney Cove
New South Wales
or else where

[In different handwriting]
From Jhon Houlding
to be Left hat the
Sine of the Goudin Lian
Curch Gare Boulton
Lee mours

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26th August 1815: The Leeds Mercury publishes a final editorial on the Charles Sutton affair

In the last Intelligencer a boast is put forth by the new Editor that he contributed to bring down upon a rival publication at Nottingham, the vengeance of law! After this we should not be surprised to hear those loyal vagabonds, the common informers, who go about the country seeking whom they may devour, boasts of their patriotic services in inflicting upon the inadvertent offenders against the revenue laws the terrors of the Exchequer. There is, indeed, this difference between the two characters—the one is actuated by a spirit of revenge, the other by a spirit of avarice; but, as to their loyalty, they are exactly upon a par. This literary informer finding himself incapable of contending with his adversary in the fair field of political combat, was, according to his own confession, obliged to summons to his aid the assistance of the Attorney-General, against whose ex officio logic all other arguments are unavailing. But when he boasts of having scorched his rival, he ought, in justice, to have added, that he destroyed himself. The Nottingham Review, which he opposed, was prosecuted; but the Nottingham Gazette, which he conducted, was annihilated. If this egotist only succeeds as well as at Leeds as he did at Nottingham, his master will have no great reason to exult in his powers, and his absence will be as little regretted here as it is there. For ourselves we have only to say, that a tolerable share of vigilance has, we believe, been exercised for the last dozen years over the productions of this press, but hitherto without any very distinguished success. For the future we rely more on our own discretion than upon any forbearance in the quarter in question. In fact, we asked no forbearance—we shall acknowledge no favour; and we despise alike the threats and the clemency of all the servile slaves of power.

Friday, 21 August 2015

21st August 1815: Francis Raynes receives a letter from the Home Secretary

Three days after his meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Francis Raynes received a disappointing letter from the Home Secretary:

Whitehall, 21st Aug. 1815.


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 10th August, with several enclosures, which I herewith return to you, according to your request, together with the letter of 8th March last, addressed to you by the magistrates acting for the division of Stockport. These documents contain strong proof of your meritorious services at a very important period. They had, however, been previously rendered unquestionable, by the opinion expressed of them by Sir Thomas Maitland. The mode of remuneration which you have suggested, by granting you the allowance of a Major or a Captain on retirement, would, as I understand, be irregular and impracticable. It has been, and continues to be my earnest wish, that Sir Thomas Maitland’s recommendation of you to the favor of Government, should be rendered effectual, and I sincerely regret that no suitable means have yet been found for the accomplishment of this object.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient humble Servant,


[To] Francis, Raynes, Esq.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

19th August 1815: The Leeds Mercury responds to the Leeds Intelligencer's editorial about the Charles Sutton trial

We [illegible] a moment from more agreeable and more [illegible] pursuits, to notice a [most] violent [and impudent] attack made upon the paper by the [Editor] of the Leeds Intelligencer, who has, we [hear], [just] [arrived] from the parties of St. Giles’s, and whose language seems to be well suited to that [illegible] region. It is perhaps not known to the public, that the Editor of the Intelligencer, having written himself down, has been driven to the necessity of calling in the aid of an auxiliary, and by a very discrete choice, has, it is said, selected as his coadjutor the quondam conductor of a defunct journal, which, owing to the violence of its principal and the poverty of its talents, lately expired at Nottingham. These two negatives, which it is hoped may make an affirmative, are now uniting their wits, and it is to this promising coalition of mental energies that their small remaining stock of readers are to be indebted for the judicious, temperate, and profound observations which will in future flow from the "Intelligencer Office," and of which the last paper presents a happy specimen. Having found, from experience, that these ephemeral scribes "will die of themselves if you let them alone," we shall not be very anxious to notice their future ravings, nor would they have claimed our attention on the present occasion, had we not been inclined to put the public in possession of a secret that these combined editors, in excess of their modesty, appeared dispensed to withhold—probably from an indisposition to admit that additional aid was found requisite to prop a declining interest. As the alliance formed by these luminaries between the Leeds Mercury and the Nottingham Review, we have no objection to it whatever—they are quite at liberty to unite us with any part of the press they think proper, except with the slavish sycophants of power, the panders of ambition, and the servile tools of an existing administration. The watchfulness they have announced over the public papers, that dare to be honest in the worst of times, may recommend them to the French Minister of Police, who is just at this moment in need of a legion of censors of the press, to guard against the free discussion of political subjects; but, thanks to the glorious and successful struggles of our ancestors—thanks to the happy institutions of our country—and thanks the patriotic feeling of the present race of Englishmen, who know how to defend their best inheritance—censors of the press in this country are held in deserved detestation, and in proclaiming themselves as the fit instruments of such an office, the con-joint Editors hold themselves up to public execration. We have only further to observe, that so little are we influenced by the arrogant pretensions that have called forth these observations, that, under all circumstances, we shall keep on the even tenour of our way, and that though all the sycophants in the kingdom should be congregated to watch over us, we shall fearlessly endeavour to make the potent instrument placed in our hands administer to the liberty, the happiness, and the prosperity of our country.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

18th August 1815: Francis Raynes is called to meet the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Charles Arbuthnot

Francis Raynes' persistence in the pursuit of a reward seemed, at last, to have paid off. His memoir relates the events that led to an important meeting that took place on Friday 18th August 1815:
“Who waits the reward of services, must ever deprecate the danger of delay,” and perceiving my cause had suffered too much from this already, I resolved to make one more effort, and again addressed myself to Lord Sidmouth. Some little time after, I received the following note from the Secretary of the Treasury:-- 
Mr. Arbuthnot presents his compliments to Captain Raynes, and would be glad to see him, if he would call upon him at the Treasury, on Friday, about One o’clock.
Treasury, 16th August, 1815. 
On calling, I was informed by Mr. Arbuthnot, he sent for me by desire of Lords Liverpool and Sidmouth, to assure me their Lordships were fully sensible of the services I had rendered, and that they regretted an opportunity had not occurred of rewarding them. Finding I was still destined to receive nothing but compliment, and that I had been sent for only to hear repeated, what I had so often before been assured of, and that I still had to wait an indefinite time for what I had, on the outset of the business, been led to expect would be immediate, I could not help shewing my astonishment and vexation. Perceiving which, Mr. Arbuthnot observed I did not seem satisfied; but assured me, as all appointments went through his hands, I might rely on an opportunity not escaping his notice, and being made known to the head of the Government: but, added Mr. Arbuthnot, “you are not, perhaps, aware, Captain Raynes, that a rule exists which prevents any person obtaining an appointment under the Government, after the age of forty-five.” My reply was, “I am not thirty-nine;” and feeling myself mortified and irritated at the remark, after the length of time I had been waiting, I said I could not help calling to mind the words of Sir Thomas Maitland, that if I did not get something at first, I never might. I have been thus minute in relating the particulars of this interview, as, some time afterwards, on mentioning that Mr. Arbuthnot told me appointments were not to be given to any body more than forty-five years old, I was told by the Duke of Montrose, he did not say so; and it has, likewise, been made the grounds of much displeasure against me, in another quarter, from the unfortunate repetition of the words of Sir Thomas Maitland...

Friday, 14 August 2015

14th August 1815: The Leeds Intelligencer publishes another outspoken editorial about Charles Sutton

We have promised to pay a little occasional attention to the Nottingham Review, and to shame, if anything can shame, the other paper published in that town, into the discharge of this duty, a duty, which, in such a place as Nottingham do [illegible] [illegible] print professing loyalty to the King, and attachment to the establishments of the country. But, while we spare a few "words of rebuke" to the convicted libeller of the British army, the detected instigator to outrage, murder, and insubordination of the British manufacturer, we must not entirely neglect the raving vagaries of its fraternal politician, the other weekly herald of discontent and [disapprobation], the public spirited and patriotic MERCURY of LEEDS! As these illustrious compatriots, however, even when united, are scarcely worth one's powder and [shot], we must be as sparing of our time and our ammunition as possible, and by placing them, as often as we conveniently can, together, to make to take aim at the [illegible], that we may kill both fools with one stone. The task we undertake, though loathsome, is necessary; and we shall lose no proper opportunity of [chastising] these mercenaries of a foreign tyrant, these malevolent and croaking scribblers, according to the magnitude of their respective [slur], and of arresting and beating back upon themselves, the putrid stream of moral and political quackery and delusion, with which they incessantly endeavour to annoy the Government of their country, and to poison and defile the already corrupt and feeble intellects of their infatuated disciples and admirers.

Of the Nottingham patriot, we have at present little to say. His feelings are so much engrossed by the issue of his trial for libel, and his ingenuity is so exercised with endeavours to persuade the public of his innocence, that he has neither time nor inclination to attend the general oppressions of the Government, nor to soothe the grievances and the miseries of his enslaved countrymen and country.—He plumes himself not a little on one part of the defence at up to him by his counsel, "that it is impossible he could be an instigator to Luddism, as he had, in strong and eloquent terms, reprobated a late outrage at Basford, in which two men lost their lives!"—But unfortunately for this last effort to establish the purity of his intentions, we are in possession of a fact which appears to have been unknown both to the Counsel for the Crown and for the Defendant. The article re-probating the conduct of the assassins in the outrage alluded to, was sent for insertion in the Review, from a certain gentleman, in Nottingham, distinguished for the moderation and liberality of his views, and holding a high office in the town, whom Mr. Sutton dared not disoblige by refusing a place to that very article, to which he now eagerly clings like a drowning man to a straw. Like the straw, it is, alas, insufficient to sustain his head above the water, and down he must go, into that abyss of ignominy and of guilt he has opened for himself; oppressed and weighed under the flood by the consciousness of the mischief he has created.—loaded with the indignation of the just, and with the reproaches of the criminals he has led astray. As a proof of the accuracy of our statement respecting the article to which we have alluded, it appeared, on the very same day, in all the three Nottingham papers; and so far was the Review from expressing any indignation at the atrocities perpetrated in its immediate neighbourhood, that it did not add a single word, not one representation, from itself, to the paragraph which it reluctantly admitted, in small and obscure print, into its columns!

As for the poor Mercury, we are almost as much disposed to pity us to quarrel with it, in the present depressed state of its idol. The swimming of Buonaparte, in the Bellerophon and Northumberland, appears to have given the jaundiced Editor a swimming in his head. He last week dwelt, with complacency, on the proofs afforded of Buonaparte's "splendid talents," by the mob assembled to gaze upon his prison-ship, paying him "the slight mark of respect of being uncovered" forgetting that he himself, (this same writer for the Mercury) only a few days ago, had discovered that all the misfortunes of the Tyrant were owing to his "want of common prudence!" In the eagerness of his zeal for "soothing the wounded honour of France"—"binding up the wounds of that unhappy country,"—and "preserving the integrity of its territory," he prophecies, that, if a "good round paring" be taken from its present frontier, Europe will be exposed to a second irruption of Barbarians from the North! The only irruption of Barbarians from the North, that has taken place in the present times, is the irruption of the honest, though rude and uncultivated COSSACKS! And Europe owes too much to these unshaved and [illegible] soldiers, who have treated their vanquished enemies with a magnanimity, unknown to "the wounded humour" of their French aggressors, not to wish that the BARBARIANS OF THE SOUTH may again be driven back by them, should an almighty Providence ever permit another irruption from southern devastators into those remote and frozen legion regions of the North, where their unburied and bleaching bones bear testimony to the extent of their ravages, and to the power of an avenging God.

Friday, 7 August 2015

7th August 1815: The Leeds Intelligencer gloats over the verdict of the Charles Sutton trial

On Monday 7th August, the Tory Leeds Intelligencer published an editorial about the recent trial of the proprietor of the Nottingham Review, Charles Sutton. It was the first of several that would appear over the coming weeks:

At Nottingham Assizes, Mr. Sutton, proprietor and editor of the Nottingham Review (the Luddite and Buonapartean Mercury of that town), has been found guilty of a libel, the intention and tendency of which were to insult his Majesty's Government, to traduce and vilify our gallant army which beat the Americans into peace: to depreciate the services of them and their late lamented leader, General Ross, whom it characterised as the younger Ned Ludd; and to vindicate and encourage that Luddite spirit of outrage and insubordination which still exists in Nottingham, and the effects of which we have had so much reason to deploy in this county. As the trial will be published at length by order of Government, we shall not occupy space with extracts from the garbled report of it sent forth by Mr. Sutton and some of his jacobin fellow-feeling contemporaries. We think his conviction the most powerful blow that Luddism could have received. There can be no doubt but that dangerous and disgraceful spirit was the offspring of one or two wicked and delusive publications, and that it was fostered, and trained to every deed of outrage and assassination, by the most artful palliations and incentives. If the conviction of Mr. Sutton, therefore, should render him and his coadjutors more guarded in their language, it will do more towards preventing outrage than could be hoped for from the operation of the most severe penal laws upon the offenders. Though found guilty of a libel of so foul a character, Mr. Sutton affects to be surprised that the article for which he has been tried should have called for a prosecution, and with all the hypocritical cant and puritanical affectation of innocence and simplicity for which the Party are remarkable, represents his own trial as one of the most oppressive, unnecessary, and extraordinary upon record. But we remember, and we beg to remind Mr. Sutton and the public of the fact, that he publicly acknowledged, in the number of his paper succeeding that which contained the libel—that he then publicly acknowledged this very article had given DISGUST to his own friends!!! and if it was so flagrantly wicked and inflammatory as to disgust them, he cannot be surprised that it excited the resentment of good men, and demanded just chastisement from those laws upon which he had so long trampled with impunity, and at length arrested the attention of that Government, which had hitherto treated with contempt his incessant but futile attempts to insult and [amuse] it. We shall resume this subject at a future opportunity.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

4th August 1815: 8 men charged with machine breaking over the attack at Holbrook

On Friday 4th August, 8 men were committed to the County Gaol in Ipswich for the attack at Holbrook the previous day. They were all charged with riotous assembly and machine breaking. The men were Daniel Grimwood, Joseph Cook, Samuel Page, Martin Gosling, Thomas Seager, Jerry Lucas, John Driver and Robert Payne. They would all stand trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

All the men were bailed - save for Lucas, Driver and Pool who could not afford it.

4th August 1815: Nottingham Review editorial on the Charles Sutton trial

On Friday 4th August 1815, the Nottingham Review carried an extensive editorial on the subject of the trial of its proprietor Charles Sutton, which had taken place on the 22nd July,  & the verdict delivered:

We last week promised some remarks on our recent Trial; and we now redeem our pledge.—When the NOTTINGHAM REVIEW (which has been established by its own intrinsic merits,) was first sent to seek its fortune in the wide range of human society, the world was divided into two great political parties; the one founding their creed on the indivisibility and inprescriptibility of the rights of man—principles co-eternal in duration with nature itself; and the other on the odious and insulting assumption of the divine right of kings, in contradistinction to the rights of citizenship, which was ludicrously and irrationally generated in the witchcraft regions of Scotish subserviency, a short time before England was doomed to be tyrannised over by the Stuart race. On the side of the latter were marshalled state-craft, priest-craft, corruption, insidiousness, venality, and ignorance—on the side of the former, honesty, integrity, patriotism, and unbought talent were seen arrayed. In this trusty band the PROPRIETOR of the REVIEW sentimentally enlisted himself—he pursued, undeviantingly, his onward course; and thereby gained numerous friends, and not a few enemies—the former strewing flowers, and the latter thorns in his way; but the thorns were harmless, because they were lost in the flowers. Thus things went on, till and in an evil hour the spirit of discord raised its head in this town and neighbourhood, which will be long remembered how long deplored—war was the CAUSE, and distress was the CONSEQUENCE; the latter being always the close follower of the former, though led on by different means. The REVIEW pursued it steady course—it continued to make proselytes to reason, and reason to add friends to the REVIEW. But, in this new and alarming state of things, the PROPRIETOR had a new duty to perform—he had to give a faithful record of the numerous outrages committed—the public looked up to him for a statement of facts, as far as facts could be obtained; and he spared no pains to fulfil public expectation—he did more; he gave the whole weight and intent of his paper towards supporting the empire of the laws, against violence and outrage: but, in doing this, he could not surrender the noblest quality in his nature—heaven’s chartered gift, which is sealed with the sign manual of the Deity—he could not give up the sympathies of his heart; therefore, while he supported the empire of the laws, he pitied the misguidedly-criminal objects that were goaded on by their sufferings to a commission of the daring violations. To pity, say the disciples of Draco, is half to approve—we must have no distinctions in crime—no reasoning as to the relative motives for its commission—the wretch that wilfully breaks a bobbin is equally criminal with him that breaks his neighbour’s neck; and an equal punishment ought to be inflicted. The Legislature, after a little experience, reasoned otherwise, and so did the PROPRIETOR of the REVIEW—he weighed causes and effects—by cause and effect he judged a relative guilt—he recommended a prevention of crime as, at least, a partial correction of vice—he still dared to pity and advise, while he reproved and condemned. Hence a faction of enemies arose, that were dangerous only because some of them wore the garb of sentimental attachment—they whetted the assassin’s dagger of revenge on the spotless surface of unsuspecting friendship—they wore the Judas mask till conscious shame plucked it from their brows. They watched the REVIEW with equal assiduity with which an enamoured youth watches the lovely object of his tenderest affections, when passing the precipice of danger, but with very different motives—he watches to prevent an unfortunate slip—they watched for an opportunity to plunge the REVIEW and its PROPRIETOR into the gulph of perdition.—At length an opportunity offered itself for the partial gratification of their wishes—the publication of the article, which formed the subject of the prosecution, at any other time would have excited only laughter and ridicule; but the ever to be lamented catastrophe at Basford the same evening, furnished the hunters after revenge with the means of perverting its most obvious intention. The Attorney-General was applied to; the piece was analysed, and he was pressed not to lose the favorable opportunity; nay, such was the anxiety of a certain gentleman who was deputed to wait on the Attorney-General when the Term was nearly expired, for fear that Officer would have forgotten his duty, that he repeated his request, and we have every reason to believe, had it not been for this last named application, the prosecution would have slept for ever.

Without paying much attention to the candour of these gentlemen, whom we shall designate as instigators, we will take the friendly liberty of asking them a few questions. Then, gentleman, are you Englishmen by identity of attachment to the principles of liberty, as well as by birth? or has freedom never seen a sufficient share of common honesty in your conduct to induce her to adopt you amongst her children? Then, if you are Englishmen, in the liberal sense of the word—if you are the advocates of freedom (and otherwise you cannot be real Englishmen)—if the Great Charter, exacted from a bloody tyrant at Runnimead by the [dauntless] hand of patriotism, in your estimation be of any more value than the dust on a hosier’s or a cotton-dealer’s counter, or scraps of waste paper in a lawyer's office—if you think the Bill of Rights anything better than an almanack of the same date—if you think these things, how has it happened, in instigating the persecution, or prosecution, if you please, against the proprietor of the REVIEW, that you have stabbed the liberty of Englishmenmen through his side, by depriving him of one branch of an English jury? and why did you deprive him of a jury of townsmen altogether, by removing the cause to the county? Were you afraid that fifteen or twenty of the first gentleman of the town, and twelve peaceably disposed, creditable, and rational housekeepers would have been too honest for your purpose? The town of Nottingham has been famous, during a long succession of years, for the intelligence and uprightness of its juries, as well Grand as Petit—Judges have frequently applauded, and counsel have blazoned their fame: then why were you afraid of them? were you alarmed at their sterling integrity, or at the comprehensive powers of their minds? You applied to the Attorney-General for an information ex-officio, rather than to a Grand Jury with a bill of indictment, because you were aware that one stranger’s mind was more likely to be influenced by your insidiousness, than were fifteen or twenty gentleman who would have been guided in their decision by plain facts, by the connection and bearing of circumstances, and by the honest dictates of common sense. But Mr. Clarke, when he knew he could not be contradicted, endeavoured to prove the removal of the Grand Jury a very good things Mr. Sutton, because, said he, they would have found a bill of indictment against him, which would have prejudiced the court against his interest. If this position be founded on fact why not do away with Grand Juries altogether? Grand Juries must be either a public good or a public evil. If a public good, that good can only be produced by their as a shield to innocence; and, if this shield to innocence be an evil, why not remove it by legislative enactment? But this, ye instigators, you dare not apply for, for fear of public indignation being too unruly for your pigmy consequence! and, as you feared to trust the exercise of your vengeance against Mr. SUTTON to the care of this shield to innocence, you got it removed by an appeal to an odious custom which infringes on the constitutional rights of Englishmen! thus making yourselves instrumental in the infringement of those rights! and thus proving yourselves enemies to your country’s liberty.—The instigators, having waded thus deep in dirty water, scrupled not to proceed—they had to remove a Nottingham Jury altogether, or their work was but half done. And why these anxieties, watchings, struggles, and [cares]? What were they afraid of? Did they dread the honesty, integrity, understanding, and judgment of a Nottingham Jury? If they did, what sort of compliment were they paying to the merits of the prosecution, as well as to the men of the county who are competent to act as Jurors? And if they did not dread these things, why was the cause removed at all? for Mr. SUTTON had no wish to remove it—he did not dread the opinion of his townsmen, either in the capacity of Grand, Special, or Petit Jurors—he knew them too well to doubt their honesty, integrity, understanding, or judgment, as, he doubts not, they know him too well to suspect the purity of his intentions.

But we were told from the bench, during this trial, that the Attorney-General's power of filling bills of indictment, without the intervention of a Grand Jury, is necessary to preserve the constitution. What! Is the power of the constitution, in its administration of justice, so defective as to want the aid of innovation for its protection against a loose paragraph in a provincial print? This is a strange declaration indeed! This is declaring that the constitution is inherently defective, and that it is not calculated to suit the genius, the wants, and the interests of the people: a [petition] which we most distinctly deny. We admit, [nay] more, we contend that time and a course of corrupt circumstances have so vitiated the constitution as to render emendation absolutely necessary to its existence; but we by no means admit it to be originally weak or inherently vicious, or that bad practices are necessary to preserve the few remains of its purity. Were it to be maintained, that an act of gross immorality was necessary to preserve a good man from the contaminating principles of vice, would not the person making such declaration be pitied as a maniac, or subject himself to very unpleasant suspicion? And where is the difference between such a declaration, and the stating, that it is necessary to defend the constitution by violating its most valuable precepts?

That part of this trial which aimed the most deadly blow at the liberty of the subject we have yet to name; and which may not be unfairly charged upon the heads of the instigators, for having dared to urge a suit, in the support of which it was necessary to advance such extraordinary doctrine. Mr. Denman, considering the evidence produced in court (as connected with a Juryman’s oath) not sufficiently conclusive to connect the alleged libel with the indictment, with reference to the name of “Ludd,” and the word “neighbourhood,” no violence having been proved in court to have been committed by the Luddites, any nearer than Sutton in Ashfield (not even their very clearly) which is fourteen miles distant: he therefore submitted with confidence that he had a right to demand a decision in favour of Mr. SUTTON, without the matter being left to the Jury. And if we are to consider the words “neighbourhood”" in its natural meaning, and in a manner in which all common understandings will consider it, the learned counsel was right. For instance, Arnold is in the neighbourhood of Nottingham, Papplewick is in the neighbourhood of Arnold, Blidworth is in the neighbourhood of Papplewick; and Sutton in the neighbourhood of Mansfield; but you might as well say that Castle Donington, in Leicestershire, is in the neighbourhood of Nottingham, as that Sutton-in-Ashfield is! When we talk of neighbouring nations we say, France is a neighbouring nation to England; but when speaking of Austria our words always imply a distant or foreign nation, though there is only one dividing between it and ourselves; while there are four divisions betwixt Nottingham and Sutton. Notwithstanding this clear definition in favor of Mr. Denman's position, he was overruled by the Judge under the plea, that the question should be left to the judgment of the jury; which judgment is now duly appreciated. But Mr. Clarke contended, probably for fear Mr. Denman's arguments might warp the judgment of the jury from his view of the question, that the jury had a right to take into consideration their previous knowledge of the circumstances of the case. Against this frightful innovation on the liberties of Englishmen we shall exhibit that solemn oath which every juryman takes on entering the box, in the presence of a listening multitude, and in the face and in the name of the Almighty Disposer of Events, whose vengeance he invokes if he violates such oath: – "You shall well and truly try, and true deliverance make between our Sovereign Lord the King and the Defendant in this case, and the true verdict give according to the evidence—so help you God." To attempt to heighten this contrast—this sacred and constitutional line marked out by an oath, opposed to law and chicanery, and mere barristical declamation, to say the least of it, would be imprudent; because it is unnecessary; and because an addition of words would be a subtraction of strength.

Now, ye instigators, what will you say, or rather what will the world say of you, if this sacrilegious and monstrous doctrine be pushed into practice? how much you will then have benefited your country, by instigating a suit, and pushing it into court, which even yourselves blush to be considered the authors of; and which you could not support without!! — – but we will leave you to fill up the portentous blank. Let us suppose we hereafter see a man whom three of four knaves have determined, if possible, to ruin—that a murder should chance to be committed—that this man has been out at the time, and near the place where the horrid deed was committed—that these designing knaves lay a plan in the darkness of guilt to accuse him of the murder—that he is arrested and brought to trial for the crime, with all the prejudice upon his head which a supposed murderer carries with him—that one of these knaves, by the depth of design has contrived to be one of the Jury—then nothing but circumstantial evidence is brought against the prisoner—that the Jury retire to determine upon their verdict—that eleven of them say, "we have no direct proof against this man, therefore we must acquit him—and that the twelth man should say, who was in the plot, "but, gentlemen, I have the most convincing proof in my own breast that this man is guilty: proof which I was in possession of before I came into Court." Here he might name his proof, and shape it as he pleased—his fellow Jurymen would say, "well, Sir, but with this we have nothing to do—remember our oath!” “but, (answers this guilty wretch,) remember what was advanced on the trial of Mr. SUTTON—I am borne out by precedent, and will not submit." The eleven might yield the point; the innocent man might get hanged—the oath of a Juryman, in time, might become of as little value as a Custom-house oath; and the life and liberty of Englishmen be rendered less secure!

Monday, 3 August 2015

3rd August 1815: Threshing Machine destroyed at Holbrook, Suffolk

Some time during Thursday 3rd August 1815, and in a portent of what was to come the following year, a Threshing Machine was destroyed at Holbrook in Suffolk.

The machine was the property of a John Roper of Wilby, over 30 miles north of the village. A crowd had assembled prior to the task of destruction, and several people were arrested in the hours afterwards.